[Marxism] shuga shuga shuga shuga shuga ... kaBOOM!

Joaquín Bustelo jbustelo at bellsouth.net
Fri Nov 18 10:26:12 MST 2005

	What was that whirring, sloshing sound followed by a muffled
explosion heard yesterday afternoon?

	Is it me that's off his rocker, or did no one else notice that
George Bush took a volley of torpedoes amidships Thursday afternoon, and
well below the water line?

	U.S. Rep. John Murtha, a Democrat Vietnam War Marine purple
heart veteran from Pennsylvania, and highest ranking Democrat on the
subcommittee that doles money out for the Pentagon, called for what
reporters described as "immediate withdrawal" of U.S. troops from Iraq. 

	Although Murtha's sense of "immediate" seems to have been drawn
from some extremely time-dilated Einsteinian frame of reference (six
months), the political context and the content of his reasoning was such
as to make no difference in terms of its practical import. He said that
U.S. troops in Iraq only served to provoke resistance and unify the
insurgents, there was no reason for them to be there, no condition that
needed to be satisfied in order for them to be withdrawn.

	"The American public is way ahead of the Congress on Iraq," he
said. "It is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering,
the future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present

	"Our military has done everything that has been asked of them.
It is time to bring them home," the conservative Congressman said.

	"The main reason for going to war has been discredited."

	The panicked reaction from the Republicans in Congress and the
Administration was a vicious terrorist-baiting verbal barrage that even
the New York Times described as "vitriol." 

	If words could kill, Congressman Murtha would be entitled to
several dozen more (posthumous) purple hearts. No fewer than 15
Republicans appeared at a hastily-called Capitol Hill presser to accuse
him of everything from lunacy to treason to --gasp!-- watching Michael
Moore movies.

	Speaker of the House Hastert said Murtha and those who agreed
with him "would prefer that the United States surrender to terrorists
who would harm innocent Americans." 

	Among the reactions was that from the White House press office
--in Korea--, which acidly remarked, "Congressman Murtha is a respected
veteran and politician who has a record of supporting a strong America.
So it is baffling that he is endorsing the policy positions of Michael
Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party.  The eve of
an historic democratic election in Iraq is not the time to surrender to
the terrorists.  After seeing his statement, we remain baffled --
nowhere does he explain how retreating from Iraq makes America safer."

	The night before vice-president Cheney had attacked those who
point out how bullshit "intelligence" was used to justify the war as
having made "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever
aired in this city."

	On the "Blogosphere," that online cloaca overflowing with
Republican effluvia, Murtha-bashing was all the rage. "Murpha has lost
is." "Murpha calls for Abandonment and Surrender in Iraq." "Fight, don't
hide" fumed investors.com, which says the Republican caucus in the
Senate "has joined the antiwar-lite camp."

	Murtha's response was as withering as it was demagogic. "I like
guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. I like
that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send
people to war and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs
to be done."

	An indication of how rattled ruling class circles have been by
Murtha's action is the New York Times. Around 6:00 PM, this was the top
headline on the web site. at 1:45 AM Friday, and for the previous
several hours the story had been yanked from the home page. But if you
clicked on the "Washington" link, you'd see it is the top story in that
section though it wasn't one of the three "Washington" stories featured
under "Washington" on the home page. 

	The story doesn't appear *at all* in the "National" section
listing of all relevant stories, although both it and "Washington" often
offer the same stories, as they did last night. And on the overall home
page, the lead item under both those categories is "Extension of Patriot
Act Faces Threat of Filibuster," another piece about Congress. 

	On the International section page, the Murtha story is the third
one listed, but, again, in the three stories featured on the overall
home page, Murtha is missing.

	Even curioser, the printed paper front page images hadn't yet
been updated (they usually are by 1 AM is my impression) but if you
click on the image, it links to a web-based listing of the home page,
where the top story is the Murtha story: "Rapid Pullout From Iraq Urged
by Key Democrat."

	The earlier headline at the top of the home page and inside said
"immediate" and not "rapid" withdrawal.

	(Now, nine hours later, the front page image shows that the
Murtha story was the lead story of the printed paper. On the current
version of the web home page, it is buried as one of the "Washington"
items way down the page).

	The story got similar, schizophrenic treatment in various other
outlets, among them the Washington Post, Miami Herald and LA Times. At
the NY Times at least one can reasonably speculate what went on. The top
editor for the day, whoever was managing editor, made sure it went at
the top of the home page and in the most prominent page 1 position. Then
he went home. The evening/night chief tried to bury it as deeply as

	For us the story is important because it further legitimizes the
"Out Now" demand. Despite Murtha's long timetable (6 months) his
statement are to the effect that there's no reason to be there and they
should all be pulled out as quickly as possible. It also underscores the
timidity and perfidiousness of the supposedly "liberal" Democrats, not
one of whom has joined with Murtha in calling for what the press has
variously described as "immediate", "rapid" or "fast" withdrawal.


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